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Alvarez expected to start Thursday's finale in Atlanta

Alvarez expected to start Thursday's finale in Atlanta

ATLANTA -- All signs point to Henderson Alvarez being ready to make his scheduled start on Thursday in the series finale against the Braves at Turner Field.

The Marlins had concerns after Alvarez was pegged on the left shin on a comeback hopper against San Francisco on Saturday night. Joe Panik ripped a hot shot in the third inning that clipped Alvarez just above the ankle.

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Alvarez immediately left the game. An X-ray came back negative, and the right-hander has made steady progress since.

Miami had considered pushing Alvarez back a day or so, if he wasn't feeling ready.

"We're anticipating Henderson will be fine," manager Mike Redmond said. "He's feeling better each day. He should be fine to make his start."

An All-Star for the first time, Alvarez has emerged as Miami's top starter since Jose Fernandez underwent Tommy John surgery in May.

"We got lucky, because it caught Henderson between the muscle and the shin," Redmond said. "I think it got more muscle than bone. It blew up quickly on him. It was sore, of course. I think he's fine. We can't lose anybody, but especially him. It's good that he's fine."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter Less